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MSU Extension Communications Team cleans house for ACE awards

Congratulations to our Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Communications Team! They will be given prestigious awards and recognition at the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) Annual Conference coming up in June in Memphis, Tennessee. The ACE Critique and Awards program recognizes individuals and teams for excellence in communication and technology skills.

The MSU Extension Communications Team will receive three gold awards.

They will receive a gold award in the special reports category for their work on the MSU Extension and AgBioResearch Legislative Report, coordinated by Sean Corp. Others on the Legislative Report team who contributed to writing, designing and editing included Patricia Adams, James Dau, Katie Gervasi, Nichole Hersch, Cindy Hudson, Marian Reiter, Beth Stuever, Mindy Tape, Jamie Wilson and Holly Whetstone.

In addition, the team of Nichole Hersch, Beth Stuever, Mindy Tape and Jamie Wilson will receive the gold award in the issues management category for their work on Avian Influenza Epidemic: Managing Tough Issues Across Multiple Audiences. Others contributing to the avian influenza project include Patricia Adams, Alicia Burnell, Kraig Ehm, Leslie Johnson, Rebecca McKee, Samantha Proud and Marian Reiter. As a bonus, the project also won an Outstanding Professional Skill award, given to the entry that rises to the top of all the gold award winners.

Beth Stuever will receive the ACE Pioneer Award, which recognizes communicators who demonstrate exceptional leadership as well as technical skills, and make significant contributions to ACE during their first 10 years of ACE membership. Beth received the award for her service in many leadership positions contributing to the excellence of the profession, actively presenting at multiple conferences and engaging with ACE Learning Communities. Additionally, Beth supported colleagues and team members in their engagement with ACE and provided resources for them to participate at the annual conference.

The MSU Extension Communications Team is also highly engaged in the conference itself ‒ presenting three sessions. Mindy Tape and Jamie Wilson will partner with Iowa State’s Egg Industry Center to offer a session on avian influenza regarding stakeholders, timelines and actions. Beth will partner with her former supervisor, former MSU Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications director Ruth Borger (now the vice president of communications at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) to present a session on time management. Mindy and Tom Cummins will present a session on keys to increasing productivity.

We are extremely proud of our MSU Extension Communications Team and and how the caliber of their work and the work of others involved is being recognized at a national level. Please join me in congratulating them on their awards.

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The reptiles return!

The revision of a popular field guide is now ready and available to purchase from the Michigan State University Extension Bookstore. Michigan Turtles and Lizards (E2234), a nontechnical guide, includes color photos of the 10 turtle and two lizard species that make Michigan their home. Michigan Turtles and Lizards

The guide was written by James H. Harding, instructor in the MSU Department of Zoology, and herpetology and zoology outreach specialist in the MSU Museum, and the late J. Alan Holman, curator emeritus of vertebrate paleontology at the MSU Museum and professor emeritus of geology and zoology at MSU. It was edited by Leslie Johnson and designed by graphic artist Alicia Burnell, both of Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications.

“Turtles, in particular as a group, are among the world’s most critically endangered vertebrates, due to massive and accelerating human exploitation and habitat destruction. There is less information on lizard populations, but many species are also on the decline,” said Mr. Harding.

You can use this book to identify a turtle or lizard by comparing it to the photographs or by using the simplified identification keys. The guide includes information on the anatomy, fossil history, distribution, habitats, behavior, captive care and conservation of these animals. It also contains a glossary of selected words and a list of recommended resources. This revision has updated taxonomy and some new text material with additional photos to enhance the text. The range maps have been revised to reflect the latest information on turtle and lizard distribution and there’s a new page on introduced species.

Michigan Forest Communities This guide makes a great gift for the young and the not so young. Most of Michigan’s native species of turtles and lizards can be found in adjoining portions of Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and even Ontario so you don’t have to limit your gift giving to friends and relatives in Michigan.

“People working in wildlife research, education or conservation may wish to obtain the revised version; however, ‘nonprofessional’ people who already own the old version need not feel compelled to throw them out and get the new one!” said Mr. Harding.

“I hope that our book will help people in this state to become familiar with the species here, and to understand our local conservation challenges with these ancient (but evolutionarily successful) reptiles,” he said.

Order the book from the MSU Extension Bookstore at http://web2.msue.msu.edu/bulletins2/product/michigan-turtles-lizards-418.cfm.

While shopping the MSU Extension Bookstore website, you will run across some treasures. One of them is Michigan Forest Communities: A Field Guide and Reference (E3000) by Donald Dickmann, professor emeritus in the MSU Department of Forestry, now retired. Books that describe tree species abound. But this book provides information about how trees grow together in communities. The book covers the 23 distinct forest communities found across Michigan. Each community is illustrated with photographs and maps. Take this guide with you as you explore Michigan forests for an up-close session in forest natural history. While you’re there, you may spot a turtle!

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